Rather than take it head on, he has decided to go into the shell and levied restrictions on the girl/women folk. Whether it’s a worried father or husband or the leadership of close knit societies-the rationale is common. Khap dictates; fatwas or restrictions by a father/husband fall in the same category- fear and vulnerability of the female.
The suggestions range from reasonable to ridiculous. Early marriage; no mobiles; no night out are some of those propounded. Spirit behind the restrictions is fine but the implementation or suggested measures may be questionable. The fact is what the outrage desired or khaps/husband/father’s earnest desire is safety of the female.
The country’s legal system can’t challenge Khaps because they have a powerful say in the areas they control. Fear of punishment and social outcast is potent for members of community in rural India; in fact it gives a family identity and therefore is extremely important. All these, involving the stake holders, have evolved a system that delivers quite effectively, certainly better than the official judicial system.
One is the incorporation of the stakeholder, i.e. the female and the husband/father /khap and second is the potent punishment. Applying at the national level, this can evolve into similar powerful system.
First stage: The stakeholder is the citizen- his responsibility is like the trigger. He notices anything, informs the police. But this can work only if he is assured of his safety from harassment. He is everywhere and every time. Majority of people carry mobiles and can take a photograph and would like to call the police when they see something wrong.
Second stage should be the quick reaction police teams aimed at localising the incident, helping the victim, preventing culprits escape or destroy evidence.
Third stage would be the expert police investigating team to ensure a fool proof legal case. Fourth Stage is speedy justice delivery; this seems to be happening at least in recent rape cases.
Stage one is the crux to ensuring service quality by the government. The government cannot and should not be everywhere. It could be proactive where things are foreseen but will have to react to a trigger initiated by the citizens.
The trigger thought process can gradually be applied across the board, wherever the service provider fails, reporting the matter triggering the response will ensure fear amongst the erring employees and force the delivery of the stated service. Let’s make a difference, become empowered citizens and trigger the response. Unless we pitch in, no one can ever succeed and if we pitch in, no one can fail.
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